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Mentoring & Coaching are important parts of the FIRST® program and contribute to the program’s success.  Every adult on a FIRST team is a mentor, simply because they lead through guidance and example.  It is important to remember students need guidance, structure, encouragement, and most of all, a fun experience!

 

When done correctly, this learning process builds and expands team members’ self-confidence and knowledge.  If the process has a strong foundation and works properly, adult team members come away with as much as students do.

A Mentor…

  • Requires no special skills, but should have patience, dedication, and a willingness to learn alongside the team.

  • Is any person who works with the team in their area of expertise, for as little as one team meeting or as many as all of them.

  • Helps provide valuable support and serves as a resource in their own area of specialty.

  • Directs the process the team follows to solve the yearly game challenge, without providing the solution themselves.

  • Is a coach, teacher, motivator, and facilitator.

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A Mentor’s Role Includes…

  • Inspiring students in science and technology.

  • Actively sharing knowledge and experience with the teams to help foster intellectual growth.

  • Motivating and engaging students in meaningful activities.

  • Balancing effective work habits with FUN!

  • Allowing students to do as much of the work as possible.

  • Encouraging the team to welcome and include all members.

  • Providing students with opportunities to make choices, both good and bad.

  • Encouraging students to take risks and be inventive.

  • Allowing and encouraging independent thought.

  • Creating, encouraging, and facilitating open, honest communication within the team.

  • Fostering a reciprocal environment of trust and respect for every member and their ideas.

  • Encouraging accountability within the team.

  • Facilitating team activities and discussion.

  • Developing roles within the team.

  • Coordinating help.

  • Maintaining equipment and purchasing supplies.

  • Communicating with sponsor organizations.

  • Registering for competition(s).

  • Planning and scheduling meetings, visits, and trips.

  • Acting as a liaison between team members, mentors, parents, and volunteers.

  • Informing students and parents about what is expected of them in terms of their commitment to the team each step of the way.

  • Being a champion for Gracious Professionalism and role modeling the principle within the team.

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